Signals from our immune system alert that a brain cancer (glioma) is growing. Researchers at The Ohio State University find that cytokine (protein) interactions that relay information from one immune cell to another begin to weaken as much as five years before the cancer can be diagnosed under current methods. This weakening can be detected in the blood of brain cancer patients. In the study, researchers evaluated blood samples from 974 people, half of whom went on to receive a brain-cancer diagnosis in the years after their blood was drawn. Currently, glioma is diagnosed about three months, on average, after the onset of symptoms, which can include headaches, memory loss, personality changes, blurred vision and difficulty speaking. Survival times after diagnosis average only about 14 months because the cancer has advanced by that time. The possibility of being able to detect and diagnose the cancer much earlier is a major step forward.